Your Home’s Personality and What It May Be Saying

I love my home and how I have it decorated. But I am certain it may not appeal to most folks looking to buy a home. From window coverings and paint color to faucets and knickknacks, your home definitely has a personality that comes across and speaks to potential buyers.

What type of personality do you think a home should have when trying to attract a buyer? In my opinion, you should take into consideration the neighborhood and what type of buyer may be looking at your home when answering this question. Do you want it to say, “I offer value” or “I like to party” or “I offer privacy and peace” or should it say “I will let you do your own thing”? I don’t think any of these is a wrong question or answer.

However, in an upscale neighborhood where you are trying to get the most money, your home should at least say, “I am worth just as much and maybe more than the home that just sold down the street.” In a first-time buyer neighborhood, it should say things like, “I will make your life easier”, “I am in pretty good shape and won’t cost extra money to fix,” “I am a pretty good value and will attract a lot of buyers, so get me while you can!”

How you get your home to say things like that may take an experienced eye like mine to help get you there. Call me! 949.525.5905

 

My Mother’s Homemade Gravy Recipe for the Holidays

It’s that time of year when most people gather with family and friends for a feast. The feast my family enjoyed every year, for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, was one centered around a turkey, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, green beans and home made gravy. I was able to witness my mom make that gravy many many times, and have made it for my own family. I would like to share it with you here. And, yes; that is my mom and my siblings and her mom and dad and her siblings gathered around the table.

mom-xmas-sweaterIt is nothing super special or fancy nor hard to make (necessarily). What is special about it is the memory of my oldest brother always being the one to taste it, and another of the five kids being the one to strain the milk mixture. It is also special because her mom taught her how to make this gravy. Don’t be scared; we no longer need to strain anything since flour is more refined these days. Keep in mind, this is not all science; some art is involved!

What you will need: turkey, turkey neck and giblets, water, milk, flour, salt and pepper.

As you cook your turkey, you will need to create the stock for the gravy:

  • In a medium saucepan, place turkey neck and all giblets and add enough water to adequately cover all the pieces; saucepan should be about three-quarters of the way full or a little more. Add a teaspoon of salt and pepper at this point. You can add more later. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Cover. I usually simmer for about 3-4 hours. If you think you will need more gravy, use a larger saucepan.
  • Some water will usually boil off, leaving the pan about half full. Turn off the heat from under pan. Remove neck and giblets and set aside. Let the pieces cool. Once cooled, you can easily remove meat from neck. I like to put these thin bits of turkey in the gravy. If desired, you can also cut up the cooked giblets and place in the gravy, too. Your choice, but I highly recommend at least the neck meat.
  • As the turkey is setting after you remove from oven, you can make the gravy. It’s not that tough, but may take some trial and error. Remember, you can always make the gravy thinner, but it can be harder to make thicker.
  • You will be bringing the stock to a boil and then adding the milk/flour mixture, stirring constantly, to make the gravy. Let’s make the milk/flour mixture first.
  • In a medium plastic bowl with seal, you should place milk approximately equal to the amount of water remaining in the saucepan. Okay to be less. Add about 4 heaping spoonfuls (I simply use a regular tablespoon and really heap it) of flour to the milk. Seal the plastic bowl tightly, and shake vigorously to mix the flour with the milk. Should be smooth with as few lumps as possible. If you are using a larger saucepan to make the gravy, add a couple more spoons of flour to the mixture.
  • You can add more salt and pepper to the stock if you like at this point. I usually do. I like it to be a little peppery. I think it tastes better with more salt and pepper. I also like to add some of the turkey drippings from the pan before I add the milk/flour mixture. If you want giblets, add the giblets at this point.
  • To the boiling turkey stock with turkey meat and giblets, slowly add the milk/flour mixture, stirring constantly. It will thicken as you boil and stir. You can add more milk and/or water or more turkey drippings if it gets too thick. But most likely it won’t.
  • You don’t have to add all the milk mixture if you like a thin gravy. You can add more milk or water if you like. If you like it thick, add another spoonful of flour to the milk mixture BEFORE you shake it up and before you add to turkey broth.
  • Once the gravy is thickened, you can remove from heat and let sit while you carve the turkey and finish other prep. It may thicken a little more when standing. Before pouring gravy into serving bowl or boat, stir it up, taste it, etc. to make sure it is perfect.
  • Enjoy!

I hope all your family gatherings and feasts are loving and memorable ones. My mom is the beautiful lady all the way to the right.

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Wall Decor – Grouping Art and Photo Prints

When you go to sell your property, usually less is more in decor. You may not want to display photos of friends and family to potential home buyers and agents. But thoughtful groupings of photos and art can be quite attractive and even downright “homey.”

If you want to display a lot of family photos, choose a wall that will showcase them the way you want and then select your photos. The best way to achieve a cohesive look and make the photos the real focal point, choose a simple frame style and white matte to frame all the photos. If the frame style is the same, they can be various sizes and still look great together. You may want to scan your photos and then print them in either color or black and white at the desired size to fit within the stock matte and frame size.

Since smart phones can now take photos of good quality, you can take photos of things you like, print the photos and then frame them similarly to create an arty grouping. I took close up photos of succulents and framed them to display in my own home. Succulents have a wonderful architectural look and make ideal subjects.

Thoughts and Quotes About Home

One of the reasons I enjoy Real Estate is my love of home and family. The feeling, the warmth, the memories, the fun, the drama, everything! On this Easter Sunday, I wanted to share some quotes and thoughts about home.

“Peace – that was the other name for home.”  ~ Kathleen Norris

“Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration. ” ~ Charles Dickens

“Where thou art – that – is Home.”  ~Emily Dickinson

“No matter how dreary and gray our homes , we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.” L. Frank Baum

“A house becomes a home when you can write, ‘I love you’ on the furniture.” ~ Author Unknown

Happy Easter